That said, how amateurish is it that the voting mechanism for this award is a free, ad-supported online survey site, on a page that doesn't even list the nominees. Even last year's personal email to CSA PR guy Richard Scott was less off-putting.
This year's choice is far more difficult than last, and the list of nominees for the men's side, which is the same list for the Media/Coaches award, isn't terribly helpful.
Male Nominees from the Men’s national team / Joueurs en nomination de l’équipe nationale masculine seniorOf course, we fans are given the helpful reminder that our vote is to be based upon popularity. However, I'd rather heed the set of instructions given to the much better informed media and coaches, who are directed to vote based on "their 2009 achievements with both the national team and their respective club teams".
- de Guzman, Julian M Scarborough, ON, CAN CAN / Toronto FC
- De Rosario, Dwayne M Scarborough, ON, CAN CAN / Toronto FC
- Gerba, Ali F Montréal, QC, CAN CAN / Toronto FC
- Hutchinson, Atiba M Brampton, ON, CAN DEN / F.C. København
- Jackson, Simeon M Mississauga, ON, CAN ENG / Gillingham FC
- Johnson, Will F Toronto, ON, CAN USA / Real Salt Lake
- Klukowski, Mike D/M Oshawa, ON, CAN BEL / Club Brugge KV
- McKenna, Kevin D/F Calgary, AB, CAN GER / 1. FC Köln
- Pizzolitto, Nevio D Montréal, QC, CAN CAN / Impact de Montréal
- other selection/ autre
This combination of club and international success is rare for Canadians in 2009. By that token, I think we can dismiss Julian de Guzman and Nevio Pizzolitto immediately. Nevio had tremendous success, captaining the Montreal Impact to the (last ever?) USL-1 title. But he hasn't earned a cap since 2004, and was likely only nominated as the most prominent Canadian for Montreal. De Guzman only played about a dozen games between Deportivo and Toronto FC, and his teams were anything but successful.
By the same token, Ali Gerba, who scored 4 times in 5 matches in '09, lost his club job in England, and then failed to make any kind of impression in Toronto, except at the city's buffet lines.
Others in the list:
- Kevin McKenna mostly played well in his 6 matches for Canada, but lost his starting position with his club
- Will Johnson and Simeon Jackson both emerged as solid players with a bright future, but it's important to be careful not to overrate young talent, a common Voyageurs affliction
- Dwayne de Rosario put up numbers, but on a bad team, and didn't show up at all for Canada.
I'm sure nobody is surprised about that.